AFC West: Shaun Alexander

AFC West mailbag

November, 3, 2010
Eric from Dallas wants to know if I think Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones can keep up their strong rushing attack all season.

Bill Williamson: Sure, why not? This is the NFL’s best running attack for a reason. Charles and Jones are good players. That isn’t going to change. The offensive line is working well and the Chiefs have a good scheme. The constant attack of Charles and Jones wears defenses down.

Parker Keegan from Spokane wants to know what I think about Denver’s rushing attack under Josh McDaniels.

BW: Obviously, Denver isn’t ready to run the ball the way McDaniels wishes. It has been the worst run offense in the NFL nearly all season. This year, McDaniels went away from the wildly productive zone-blocking scheme of the Mike Shanahan era and is using a more traditional power-blocking scheme. It’s taking Denver time to adjust to the system partly because McDaniels is using rookies J.D. Walton and Zane Beadles in the system. The reason McDaniels moved away from Shanahan’s system after using it last season was he thought the lighter offensive linemen faded at the end of last season. But the change clearly isn’t working immediately.

Nathan from Florida wants to know if I think Oakland running back Darren McFadden should start getting league MVP consideration.

BW: McFadden is having a very nice season. But for a running back to win the NFL MVP award, he needs to be dominant. Since 2000, the only running backs to win the award have been Marshall Faulk, Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson. They all put up ridiculous numbers. McFadden has 668 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Again, he is having a very nice season, but he’d have to really pick up the pace to win the MVP award.

AFC West mailbag

December, 17, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

Bryan from Sunnyvale, ca: Will Denver have any chance getting into the 2nd round of playoffs?

BW: Sure, the Broncos can hang with any team. But they have to play near perfect. If Denver doesn't turn the ball over, it always has a chance. Quarterback Jay Cutler has to play well for Denver to win any game. Denver, if it wins the AFC West, would likely host Indianapolis in the wild card round. Denver would have difficulty derailing the Colts and it would have to win a shootout. If the Broncos play clean, it is possible they could win that game.

Matt from San Diego: Bill, What exactly does Mike Scifres have to do to make the Pro Bowl? PR's snubbing wasn't so bad... on a team that falls to 4-8, the QB should pay a penalty in Pro Bowl voting: if they were 8-4 instead, he would have made it. But Scifres is one of the great punters in NFL history, and it's just ridiculous that he hasn't been to a Pro Bowl.

BW: Scifres is good and he's the first alternate. But what are the chances of Shane Lechler getting hurt before the Pro Bowl? Lechler has the reputation so he is going to be hard to beat.

Marc from Denver: Hi Bill, the Broncos need help at RB and Shaun Alexander is available. What do the Broncos have to lose if they went out and got him? Why are they staying away from him? Thanks.

BW: It's always a chance because Alexander is about the only veteran presence available at tailback. For right now, Denver seems content with P.J. Pope, Tatum Bell and Selvin Young but if there is another injury or Denver feels the need for a veteran in the playoffs, it could happen.

Chad: Bill..... What do you think of that Shillens kid on the Raiders? I am a huge Raiders fan and that guy seems to make plays for a young player out of a relatively small school in S.D. State I think he could at least be a number 2 in the league. What do you think? Thanks and you have done a great job this whole season.

BW: Chaz Schilens may have a nice future. He is a seventh-round pick and he has gotten some nice experience. He hasn't lit the world on fire, but I think he can be a bright spot down the road.

Kenny from Colo Springs: Bill, do you think the raiders should trade M. Bush for draft picks or for Chad Johnson, i know Bush is a good back, and was a steal for the raiders, but he's not getting enough playing time and i think they should trade him, so he can get some playing time, and maybe with the picks they could get a wr and an ot.

BW: If Oakland decides to go after Johnson, Bush could be a part of the deal. Cincinnati could always use a running back. The Raiders just don't seem interested in using Bush as a tailback and he was nearly traded to San Diego. So, sure, he could be trade bait in the offseason.

Will Denver look at Alexander?

November, 25, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

The Denver Broncos are still a team in the market for a running back so will they show an interest in Shaun Alexander, who was just cut by the Washington Redskins?

The Broncos had a chance to sign Alexander this spring after he was cut by Seattle, but they decided to sign Michael Pittman instead. Denver liked Pittman's blocking ability and toughness over Alexander's and went with the former Tampa Bay back despite Alexander's pedigree.

Alexander had already signed with Washington when Denver had an emergency at running back earlier this month, losing three running backs in a span of four days. The Broncos eventually brought back Tatum Bell and he is backing up rookie Peyton Hillis, who has done a fine job considering he was drafted in the seventh round as a fullback.

Denver's need for a running back isn't urgent at this point. Sure, the Broncos will consider running backs, but they don't need a warm body anymore. At this point, that's exactly what Alexander may be. He made little impact with Washington.

Now, if a player such as Edgerrin James of the Cardinals were to be cut, Denver may be interested, and the Broncos still could bring in Alexander if they are not comfortable with Bell or there is another injury. But at this point, it would be a surprise if the Broncos jumped on Alexander.